Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

13,000 Hopeful 'Sopranos' Mob Auditions in New Jersey

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

13,000 Hopeful 'Sopranos' Mob Auditions in New Jersey

Article excerpt

HARRISON, N.J. -- OK, we're lookin' for a body. Maybe a coupla bodies. Dey ain't gotta be pretty, just good.

People got da point even if the producers of The Sopranos didn't use those exact words in issuing a casting call for the popular HBO series about a fictional New Jersey mob family.

In fact, 13,000 Soprano wannabes turned out yesterday at Harrison High School, dreaming of becoming the next Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bompensiero, the snitch who got whacked last season and ended up in a watery grave. (The name, by the way, evokes the real Anthony "Little Pussy" Russo, assassinated at Long Branch's Harbor Island Spa, who was named for his fondness for a pet cat.)

And yeah, you could say it was a mob scene.

Lines stretched for blocks, so many people that the casting call was shut down after just 30 minutes. People left out were told to mail their applications.

Police had to call in reinforcements to handle the crowds, and highway entrances to Harrison were closed temporarily.

Joey Saladino came all the way from Coral Springs, Fla.

"When we came through the toll booths, we were wondering how many Italians there were in Jersey," he said. "We just found out."

Applicants had to be over 16. Most importantly, they had to be "Italian-American looking," and many added a movie version of mob costuming.

Saladino, who said he sometimes gets bit parts in gangster flicks shot in Florida, wore a black pin-stripe suit, black shirt and black tie, accessorized with a gold chain and cross and what he claimed was a real Rolex.

And with his name and upbringing in the region, Robert Anzelone of Bayside, N. …

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